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International News

Jan 14, 2019
5:52PM

Turkey vows to continue to fight Kurdish militia

AFP
Turkey has vowed to continue fighting US-backed Kurdish militia after US President Donald Trump warned Ankara of economic devastation if it attacks Kurdish forces as American troops withdraw from Syria.

In a tweet, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesperson said there was no difference between the Islamic State extremist group and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

He said it is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), saying that Turkey fought against terrorists not Syrian Kurds. He added that Turkey expects the US to honour their strategic partnership and does not want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda. 

Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist offshoot of the outlawed PKK, which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

Turkey's response came after Trump yesterday said that the United States will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Pushing for the creation of a 30-kilometre safe zone, the US President yesterday tweeted that he did not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey either. 

Earlier, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton had said the US retreat from Syria was conditional on the safety of the Kurdish fighters. 

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